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Boeing Devises Storage System for Renewable Energy

  • George Putic

The Reversible Solid Oxide Fuel Cell System in operation in Huntington Beach, California. (Credit: Paul R. Pinner)

The Reversible Solid Oxide Fuel Cell System in operation in Huntington Beach, California. (Credit: Paul R. Pinner)

Boeing says it has developed and installed the first affordable system for storing surplus energy from renewable sources.

Storing large amounts of electrical power for later use has always been a problem, because existing batteries are unsuitable for large-capacity storage.

Upon demand, hydrogen is passed through system's "fuel cells" where its energy is converted into electricity. (Credit: Paul R. Pinner)

Upon demand, hydrogen is passed through system's "fuel cells" where its energy is converted into electricity. (Credit: Paul R. Pinner)

Boeing says its new compact system uses surplus electricity to extract, compress and store hydrogen, one of the most energy-potent elements.

Upon demand, hydrogen is passed through the so-called "fuel cells" where its energy is converted into electricity, with clean water as the only byproduct.

The whole unit can fit in a standard 20-foot shipping container, store up to 600 kilowatt hours of energy and generate 50 kilowatts at a time.

One unit is now installed in a U.S. naval facility in Port Hueneme, California, for further testing and evaluation.

The new fuel cell-based energy storage, developed in cooperation with German firm Sunfire, is suitable for military and commercial applications.

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